Millennials 101May 07, 2018
“Millennials aspire to marry the blue skies thinking of the Boomers with the grass-roots mindset of GenX.” – Mal Fletcher, author, social futurist and business leadership consultant
Lazy. Idealists. Impatient. Technology dependent. Killing the [take your pick] industry. The largest demographic in the U.S. And on it goes—but not all these attributes assigned to Millennials are true.
We are digging into information about Millennials for the entire month of May (Millennial Mayhem Month, if you will). We will examine Millennials in the grocery, retail and furniture entries throughout this month. Today’s article will provide a general overview of Millennials that looks at their prevalence, lifestyles and information about marketing to this generation.
The precise definition of Millennials varies. Some sources define them as being born between 1977 – 2000 while others say its those born between 1981-1996. This puts their general age range between 18 and 35.
Sometimes called the Y Generation, Millennials constitute 25% of the U.S. population (that’s 80 million). They are the largest demographic in the U.S.
Millennials command $200 billion in spending power and account for 21% of all discretionary purchases. They are more likely to spend more on conveniences like dining out and expensive coffees than older generations. However, Millennials are less likely to make major purchases such as homes.
The average Millennial has less than $1,000 saved up in the bank and earn 20% less than their parents did. But Millennials make up 13% of the affluent population in the U.S., which is defined as households with at least $100,000 in investable funds.
Key Points: Millennials are the most prolific segment of the U.S. population. They are prone to spending money liberally than older generations.
About 1 in 3 Millennials live with their parents. Millennials are also the most likely generation to reside with their parents instead of a relationship partner. Far more Baby Boomers and GenX head households (own homes) than Millennials. Also, Millennials make up 40% of the renter population in the U.S.
One in four Millennials have children. Millennials approach parenting in a unique way: they look up parenting advice online rather than friends/family, they tend to wait longer to have children, they tend to struggle financially and they document their kids’ lives on social media.
Speaking of social media, Millennials use it far more often than the older generations. About 85% of all Millennials use social media, vs. 75% of GenX, 57% of Boomers and 23% of the Silent Generation. Larger shares of Millennials use newer social media platforms like Snapchat than the older generations.
Millennials are 2.5 times more likely to be early adopters of new technology than any other generation. More than 9 in 10 Millennials own smartphones, which is the highest usage rate of the older generations. The average Millennial owns about 8 connected devices and uses at least 3 per day.
Health and wellness are important to most Millennials—60% work out regularly and 26% call themselves “health fanatics.” More than 8 in 10 Millennials disapprove of smoking. They tend to take a holistic view of health and take a broad view of what affects their health and wellness. Millennials are most likely to focus on day-to-day choices that affect their health, such as food intake and exercise.
Key Points: Millennials are tech-savvy, cohabitators who are concerned with health and wellness. They are more likely to rent than own a home.
Marketing to Millennials
Millennials look for companies that they trust, are transparent and have eco-friendly, sustainable business practices. Millennials are willing to spend more buying from a company that meets their approval than simply buy the least expensive option from a company that doesn’t measure up to their standards. In other words, Millennials are far more likely to buy something based on value rather than price.
Key statistics about marketing to Millennials:
- 4 in 5 Millennials connect with brands on social media
- 68% of Millennials said promotional emails influence their purchase decisions
- 41% of Millennials have purchased something with their smartphone
- Millennials prefer online TV and online videos over traditional TV, radio and newspapers
- Millennials trust user-generated content 50% more than any other type of content
Key Points: Marketing to Millennials hinges on showing value, being transparent with business practices and using the right channels to target messaging to Millennials.